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Hotstar’s Marketing Expedition: An Ultimate Case Study

Hotstar was launched in February 2015 in India with the aim to transform the consumption of the content on mobile devices. During the year 2015, Indian audiences were highly active on Youtube, a massive source of entertainment at that point of time. Star recognized the opportunity of growth for a platform which can offer latest movies, TV Shows and Live Sports events for viewers’ entertainment and interests.

The best digital marketing company in Gurgaon found that Hotstar was recognized as the fastest app to cross the 1 Million download mark within 6 days of launch, and the credit was given to the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup and the wide range of daily soaps produced and run by Star.

Interesting Facts about Hotstar:

  • Disney + Hotstar provides access to over 1,00,000 hours of TV Shows and Movies in 8 languages, Regional and National News, and Coverage of Major Global Sporting Events, including the IPL.
  • During 2016 IPL, Hotstar encountered a massive following of 100 million users.
  • Hotstar has partnered with some of the world’s best creators like Disney India, Nat Geo, Marvel Studios, HBO and many more to deliver the best content, which has earned the brand its position as one of the best entertainment platforms of India.

What were the Challenges faced by Hotstar:

  1. User Retention: Clearly, the major selling point for Hotstar was the most loved sports event in India, but in order to grow altogether as a video-streaming app, the brand needed to retain the viewers beyond the sports season.
  2. Monetization of the Platform: Monetization is the key to the success of any OTT player, but the audience was not interested to pay for a streaming app.
  3. Offer a Personalized Experience: To create an impeccable influence of the consumers, Hotstar needs to deliver an exceptional experience to the users, not just on-platform but even otherwise.

Strategies to Face these Challenges:

  1. Since sports events brought in maximum user engagement for the platform, Hotstar was successfully able to achieve over 10.3 million concurrent users for the live events during the IPL season. Thus, the brand was able to leverage the opportunity and delivered over 100 million messages to retain the users.
  2. The best digital agency in Gurgaon found that Hotstar follows two revenue models to successfully monetize the application:

    • a) Advertisement Video on Demand for the unsubscribed users availing the free content available on the platform.
    • b) Subscription Video on Demand for the subscribing audience, who are given access to the complete content on the platform, without any ads.
  3. To face the challenge, Hotstar’s product, marketing and data science teams worked together and opted for an automated segmentation system based on the user’s geolocation, subscription history, and activity status to offer more personalized experience to the users.

Hotstar opts for Multilingual typography for movie posters:

Since the targeted audience for the video streaming application consisted of a huge population base divided by languages, it was very crucial to offer a customized and engaging experience in their respective languages.

The best digital agency believes that Hotstar went an extra mile to become the most loved home-grown streaming platforms of India. Without losing the video genre of the movies, Hotstar created brand new film posters in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu of some of the most trending English movies.

Hotstar opts for Multilingual typography

This effort worked as a connection between the regional audience and Hotstar and successfully increased the number of the viewers for Disney + Hotstar.

The remarkable success of this video streaming platform is undoubtedly the results of all the creative marketing campaigns and strategies implemented by the brand over the years. So, let us put some light on the marketing journey of Hotstar:

Hotstar’s Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy:

The Game of Thrones spoiler campaign:

Considering the nation’s love for the show, Hotstar aired the Game of Thrones Season 8 right with US and then played its cards well in promoting the show and decided to celebrate the spoilers in a creative way.

With this campaign, the OTT (Over the top) platform aimed to convey the additional advantage of the subscription which the users will receive.

The concept was empowered by multiple marketing channels including TV Commercial, Social Media and Out-Of-Home campaigns.

OOH Campaign:

OOH campaign- Hotstar

Video Marketing by Hotstar:

Social Media Marketing campaign:


The streaming giants left no stones unturned in creating the most engaging TV Commercial for the audience, especially during the times of an event like the Indian Premier League. In order to level up the IPL experience, Hotstar added the essence of gamification to the campaign which allowed the users to compete against their friends and family with the social leaderboard feature.

To take the trend by storm, the brand came up with multiple creative videos representing the new feature offered by the app.

This commercial was created for the 2019 IPL and features twin brothers who get a chance to enjoy live matches together on one single platform. To target a huge set of audience, this campaign was taken forward in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Hotstar’s Paper-Cup Branding Campaign:


Hotstar did an incredible job in targeting the offline audience back in 2016. This phenomenal campaign was organized in order to create an impact on the audience available in the colleges and corporates.

The brand created high-quality paper cups with a smooth touch and bright color to attract the attention of the users. All the cups were printed with taglines:


Hotstar’s Paper-Cup Branding Campaign

These cups were then distributed in parks, corporates, colleges and even stations as the team believed that these are the places where consumers are calm and silent, hence their capacity to take the promotion in mind is much higher.

  • 100+ COLLEGES in HYD, BLR, DELHI NCR and MUMBAI were chosen for the campaign.
  • 100+ Corporate Offices/ SEZ Restaurants/ Cafeterias were targeted.
  • The app witnessed over 50 Million downloads of movies and TV shows during the campaign.

Hotstar’s Social Media Strategies:

The top social media marketing agency in Gurgaon was impressed and was in awe of how the streaming platform never missed the opportunity to use the power of Social Media to promote the main focus of the brand and represent the brand messages through creative campaigns and content.


With the release of the latest show, Hotstar has been promoting the show on a large scale with the same hashtag on social media and sharing multiple creatives to interact with its audience.

Because of such a quirky approach on social media, Hotstar has been successful in creating an active fanbase of 527K followers on Instagram and 64K+ followers on Twitter.

Search Engine Optimization for Hotstar:

Although Hotstar’s online presence is very impactful, for the brand it has been a rollercoaster ride to establish that. The streaming giant has faced multiple challenges during its SEO journey but the brand surely made its way through and here are some of the best examples of Hotstar’s SEO practices to learn from:

#Challenge No 1: The team needed an extraordinary strategy in order to attract maximum traffic on the variety of content they were delivering on the platform. The brand needed to enhance the performance of their website while creating their way on the top of the search engine result page.

Solution: The best SEO company in Gurgaon found that to face this challenge on hand, The Hotstar team created dedicated pages built around their targeted search queries such as “IPL Players”, “match teams”. Producing such customized content helped the brand to offer an amazing experience to the users and earned the top rankings for the brand as well.

#Challenge No 2: This is a rather common challenge faced by every brand trying to take advantage of search engine optimization, and the challenge was the immense competition by other brands.

Solution: The video streaming platform stood strong against the constant competition from the other players of the market. Best-in-class schema tags were applied such as rating, date of publication and more. The leading digital agency in Gurgaon understands that using such elements helped the brand achieve a ranking position for the brand.


While studying the marketing journey of India’s leading video streaming platform, it is very crucial to understand the brand’s approach towards offline marketing even after being an online service provider which a lot of brands fail to leverage off. Furthermore, Hotstar’s social media campaigns and Video Marketing Strategies have also been a piece of work for the market to learn from.

Also, Hotstar ventured into understanding the types of audiences it was dealing with and influencing i.e., the nation’s massive diversity, hence it never missed to serve the most customized content curated to entertain the audience from different regions and interests from all over the nation.

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